Sainsbury's goes for geothermal

20th July 2012

Jscrayford 01

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The UK's third largest supermarket is set to install ground-source heat pumps at 100 of its superstores in its bid to cut carbon emissions by 30%

Sainsbury’s has signed contracts with energy giant E.ON and UK-based ground-source heat experts Geothermal International to install renewable heat equipment at up to one-fifth of its UK superstores.

The plans form part of the company’s £1 billion sustainability strategy in which it has pledged to cut carbon emissions across its operations by 30% against 2005 levels by 2020, and source 100% of heat from renewable sources by 2030.

The announcement followed a successful pilot of geothermal technology its Crayford store in London. Fitted in 2010, the installation, which was the first of its kind, draws heat from 200m below the Earth’s surface and has supplied the store with 30% of its energy.

“The roll out of this technology is an important milestone in our renewables commitment,” said Neil Sachdev, the chain’s property director. “It supports our goal to reduce our absolute operational carbon emissions by 2020, as well as delivering energy cost savings for our business.”

The supermarket expects the project to generate 100MW of renewable energy by the end of 2016, with the technology forecast to cut energy costs at stores by 30% on average.

The firm, which was awarded with both the energy and carbon awards at the Guardian’s Sustainable Business Awards this year, already has biomass boilers at 42 of its stores and enough solar photovoltaic panels installed on its retail outlets to generate 7MW of electricity, enough to power 2,000 homes for a year.


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